Social Procurement Program
The City of Toronto’s Social Procurement Program is an initiative aimed at creating jobs and driving economic growth that will benefit businesses, communities and residents across the City.
Requests for Proposals will either outline specific social procurement requirements or will ask vendors to propose how they would incorporate social procurement into their work. The Social Procurement Program has two components: Supply Chain Diversity and Workforce Development.
Is my business a diverse supplier?
A diverse supplier must be certified and at least 51 percent owned, managed and controlled by an equity-seeking community or social purpose enterprise. These communities include, but are not limited to, women, Aboriginal people, racial minorities, persons with disabilities, newcomers and LGBTQ+ persons.
What are the benefits of becoming a certified diverse supplier?
City staff who are purchasing goods and services between $3,000 and $100,000 will be required to invite at least one certified diverse supplier to submit quotations as part of the three-quote process. A monthly list is produced and circulated among City divisions.
For formal competitive purchases over $100,000, suppliers will be encouraged to develop their own supplier diversity programs and may be awarded points in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for achieving this.
Will diverse suppliers be given preferential treatment during the bidding process?
The goal of the program is to provide equal opportunity to all vendors and does not provide preferential treatment to diverse suppliers. Proponents must meet the specifications of a quotation request and provide competitive pricing.
How does my business become a diverse supplier?
The City requires certification of diverse suppliers through established non-profit supplier certification organizations such as:
- Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council
- WBE Canada, Certified Women Business Enterprises
- Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
- Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
- Social Purchasing Project, for social purpose enterprises
Note: Some membership fees may apply. Contact the certification organizations directly for more information.
When do workforce development requirements take effect?
Workforce development requirements will apply to all contracts over $5 million in value. Bidders will be required to provide a commitment to engage in workforce development if their bid is successful. This includes designating a liaison, committing to regular meetings with the City to review workforce development activities, maintaining records to monitor progress, and making public a workforce development plan. Points may be awarded in the RFP process to suppliers who achieve this. City staff will work with the vendor to support the success of their workforce development plan. The City already has extensive experience with the private sector in embedding workforce development initiatives in projects.
Will the City be offering any support to businesses?
The City understands the procurement process is complicated. The City is committed to working with business owners throughout the process. Social Procurement Coordinator, 416-392-7313 and email Josefina.Lopez@toronto.ca